Like a middle schooler with a crush, Fox News is doodling hearts in their notebooks over their newest right-wing hunk, former Marine Sergeant, Andrew Tahmooressi. Unfortunately for Fox, as with other crushes, like Sarah Palin, Cliven Bundy, Ted Nugent and a host of other very flawed conservative heroes, Tahmooressi’s story appears less than honorable.
Tahmooressi is a two tour veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He made it as far as sergeant before being honorably discharged from the Marines. He is a native of Florida. He was under treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder at the VA hospital in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla.
The story began in March. Tahmooressi, 25, allegedly crossed the Mexican border by accident. He claims he missed his exit and crossed from San Diego into Tijuana, despite the fact that he had earlier in the day, walked across the same border, then later, went back to his truck and drove across. Once in Mexico, he was stopped by authorities, who found a fully loaded AR-15, a chrome-plated .45 caliber pistol, a 12-vague shotgun, extra clips for the rifle and pistol and 457 rounds of ammunition. He’s now serving time in jail in Mexico.
Tahmooressi and his mother have both consistently claimed that he was driving south on I-5 from La Jolla, on the way to have dinner with friends in San Ysidro, when he missed the last exit before the border and accidentally crossed into Mexico. The first problem with this story is he now admits that he had parked his truck at a lot just north of the border earlier in the day and walked into Tijuana.
That means when he walked back across the border to his truck, he was already as far south as it is possible to be and still be in the U.S. The second problem is the San Ysidro crossing is the busiest land border crossing in the world. It is large, well-marked and brightly lit at night on both sides. Even had he been driving south on I-5, which we now know he wasn’t, I-5 is a multilane freeway with numerous signs and ample opportunities to exit and turn around. Even had he somehow missed all of these, there are clearly marked turnaround lines only a few yards from the border.
The border crossing isn’t the only problem Salon has found. Cellphone and ATM records show that he crossed the border five or six times in the weeks leading up to his arrest. He admits it, saying that he was in a relationship with a Tijuana woman who works in the red light district.
Of course, Fox is blaming President Obama for the fact that Tahmooressi is in a Mexican jail, saying,
When justifying the release of five vicious Taliban terrorists detained at “Gitmo” in exchange for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, the president said, “We don’t leave our people behind.” He was subsequently accused of violating a law requiring him to notify Congress thirty days before releasing any Gitmo detainees.
Apparently breaking the law is no problem for the Obama administration. He has often bragged, “If Congress won’t act, I will. I have a pen and a phone.” In other words, he is willing to issue Executive Orders to dictate what he wants done.
Fox calls Tahmooressi’s detainment “wrongful” and “unjust” and cites a law which states, ‘Whenever it is made known to the President that any citizen of the United States has been unjustly deprived of his liberty by or under the authority of any foreign government, it shall be the duty…’
Regardless of what Fox says, Tahmooressi has not been detained wrongfully or unjustly.He broke Mexican law and the penalty for which is incarceration. He may have even broken California concealed carry laws. His attorney is trying to make the case the the search of his truck was illegal but his odds aren’t good. It’s likely he’ll spend seven to 14 years in prison. Sure, Obama could try to use some political sway, but it’s usually advised that leaders save their clout for truly innocent people.